Investment Banking,


For almost the past 2 years I have been working at an Investment Bank as an Analyst, joining as a graduate. I didn’t know much about it before going into it, but knew that it was respectable and also had some grey areas. (It was also my only job offer so I didn’t have much of a choice). Going in, I know the risks but wanted to see for myself to what extent the interest would play in my role. Alhamdulillah I haven’t had to sell a product that involves an interest rate and I also haven’t had any commission in relation to interest bearing deals. The bank is moving to a period whereby they are focusing more on non loan products, hence the amount of their revenue from interest should decrease, but at the same time even though I have no dealing in selling/collecting interest, I still have doubts in my mind. I spoke to someone close to me who is the son of a mufti, and is someone who I trust greatly. He informed me that he is of the opinion that I haven’t done anything haram and for that reason my income is halal. However, going forward I should look try and find a new job. I have been applying relentlessly to new roles but so far have been unsuccessful. My goal is to leave the bank as soon as a good opportunity comes up whereby I have no doubt over the source of my income. I also did a calculation whereby I took my division’s income from interest and compared it to non interest products, finding a ratio of around 1.1:1, i.e. 51% coming from interest for FY18. I went in with the intention of finding out for myself if banking is haram as it’s made out to be. From what I have found, I feel as if it works on the type of transactions which one works on. My role basically involves typical admin related things such as presentations, taking minutes etc, monitoring transactions etc.
From this, would you say that my income so far has been haram? And if so then what should I do? I am still actively looking for a new role and have been talking to numerous recruiters, but given your status and knowledge I thought another opinion would be good to hear from.


Wa alaykum salaam,

Can you kindly send us your job role and description?

I don’t have an exact job description, however I found this one on LinkedIn that’s very similar - I’ve also added the extent to which I actually do these activities in my day to day role;

  • Help senior bankers create business opportunities by analyzing the various financial and operational aspects of clients with the goal of determining their financing needs and structuring solutions to meet the clients’ needs. - hardly ever
  • Act as the secondary point of customer contact. - Not so much
  • Liaise with Relationship Managers in Asia. - yes
  • Coordinate with USWIB product partners in cross-sell activities. - never
  • Prepare marketing materials and pitch books. - at a time yes, hardly ever anymore, maybe not even once in 2020
  • Develop Deal Screening sheets, update Account Plans, draft Transaction Memo, write call reports. - mainly just minute taking from meetings

Execute and follow through on business origination activities as directed by senior GSB bankers. (30%)

  • Coordinate with middle and back office, Portfolio Management, and Legal in ensuring smooth execution of transactions. - never
  • Perform operational duties with regard to business origination process, including trouble shooting and problem solving. - problem solving yes
  • Prepare pipeline reports, perform portfolio profitability analysis, and help develop other management tools to improve GSB business. - yes
  • Engage in special projects as directed by Head of GSB. - now and again

To be very honest, my role is a supportive one as a graduate. This entails a lot of minute taking and following up requests, never any selling.